Friday Speak Out!: Attitude is Everything, Guest Post by Vanessa Nix Anthony

Friday, July 30, 2010
Attitude is Everything

by Vanessa Nix Anthony

My son reminds me most everyday that attitude is everything. Through his actions (his ability to recover from a bad fall with just a quick snuggle) and through his reactions to my temperament. I find that on days that I am stressed out, pushing to meet deadline, he cries out more for my attention. The more I try to quickly placate and send him on his way, the less contented he is. But the days when I successfully remain present in the moment and flexible to what the day brings the smoother things run.

Today, I sat down to work at 7am and though I took a break for lunch, I pretty much worked straight through the day. Juno had his daddy to keep him company. But at 3pm today, when I got up from my chair to use the bathroom, my nearly two-year-old son waved goodbye to my computer, clapped his hands and gave me an excited grin of anticipation. I knew that was it. Mama had to take a break and spend some time with her baby.

I sat down on the floor and he ran over grinning. He wrapped his arms around my neck and gave me a big hug and a kiss. He was grateful for my attention -- that I had heard him. We spent a good amount of time playing, putting puzzles together- giggling and chatting, just sharing time together. I got a much needed break, a good stretch on the floor and some really great time with my son. He got to know that he’s a priority and that I will stop down and take a break to be with him.

I did a lot today: research, queries, blog entries- even this piece. I also got to share in some fun and in some home-cooked meals around our kitchen table.

Were there still things looming on my to-do list at the end of the day? Sure. Would I have liked to do more research, gotten my desk drawers organized or the baby book up-to-date? Yes. A hike would have been nice, too or working on my knitting or a myriad of other things. But there are only so many hours in each day.

I could look at all that I did NOT accomplish today and be miserable. I could have been more rigid and said, "Mama needs to work right now, honey." I would have gotten more done but I wouldn't be any more satisfied with my day or my life.

My hubby and I have a kind of ritual we do. We didn't plan it or sit down and come up this—it happened quite naturally and continues on today. Before we drift off to sleep, one of us will say, "I had good day with you, hon," and the other will answer back. Soon we are listing the things that made the day so good. It falls from our lips, effortlessly. Usually, these things seem simple or plain to the untrained ear: "kept the house picked up," "got such and such a project done," "lunch or dinner was great," "the walk was nice," or "Juno did the funniest thing."

Nothing special, some would say, but I to me it's the most special. Happiness doesn't live, in the highest of highs. It's not winning a million dollars (though that would be nice) or driving a fancy car or having some inordinate amount of power. True happiness lives in the little moments—how you spot them and what you make of them. In this, each day holds the key to bliss and these little moments, strung together, bring true joy.

If you ask me if I am satisfied today or most days, I will tell you unreservedly, yes.

It was one of the best.

* * *

Vanessa Nix Anthony is a freelance writer who contributes to a variety of magazines, newspapers and online media outlets nationwide. She also writes a resource blog for Portland area writers called Writer's Block. You can find her blogging at Play-On Words or playing with her son, Juno and her hubby, Todd.

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!



Connie Hebert said...

Hi Vanessa - I couldn't agree with you more. Enjoyed your writing. Read very smoothly


NessNixAnthony said...

Thanks Connie! ;)

AKDOUGLAS1 said...

I know my cat, Ranger, feels the same way. Sometimes when her daddy is working too much she jumps on my lap and purrs and touches my lips with her paw and then rolls over on the floor. It lets me know someone isn't getting enough attention...

Donna said...

Thanks for sharing your story.. as a parents we all know this kind of tantrum of our kids.. if we are busy
with our work the more they want to get our attention.
This is also a reminder to us that
we should not forget that we need to
take extra time with our kids.
great post!

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